My First Experience With Delta’s “Basic Economy” Fares… Grrrr!

Delta is generally the leader among the big three US carriers when it comes to “innovations.” In 2012 Delta began introducing “Basic Economy” fares, which at the time sounded like they’d only be introduced in a limited number of markets.

The idea was basically that in order to compete against ultra low cost carriers, Delta would introduce even more discounted fares, which wouldn’t be eligible for any sort of ticket changes (even for a fee), and wouldn’t allow advance seat assignments either.

Delta-Economy

One of the first markets where Basic Economy was introduced was Detroit to Orlando, a route served by Frontier, Spirit, and Delta. I sort of get the logic there.

Since then, Delta has cut elite benefits on Basic Economy fares even further, by making them ineligible for complimentary upgrades.

Delta-First-Class

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that over the past several years Basic Economy fares have spread like wildfire, even to transatlantic flights. Other carriers are following Delta’s lead, with American planning on rolling out these fares on a widespread basis soon.

In other words, Basic Economy fares used to simply be a way of poaching customers who would otherwise fly Spirit or Frontier, and has now become a way for Delta to squeeze more money out of each customer, by essentially “threatening” them with no seat assignments, etc.

Most of my revenue flying is on American or foreign carriers, so I’ve never dealt with a Basic Economy fare for myself or my family.

Well, I was just in the process of booking a ticket for my dad from Tampa to Los Angeles (I’ll be in town, so it seemed like a fun opportunity to spend some time together outside of Florida), and Delta is the only airline operating a daily nonstop flight in the market. I looked up the fare on ITA, and told him it would be $388. He insisted on paying for the ticket, but my plan was then to pay to upgrade him to an exit row or Comfort+ (if the premium for first class were reasonable I would have paid that, but in this case it was $1,000+).

Then I went to Delta’s website, and noticed that the $388 fare was in fact a Basic Economy fare.

Delta-Basic-Economy-1

Selecting the Basic Economy fare showed all the restrictions in place for these fares.

Delta-Basic-Economy-3

It would be $40 more for a “regular” economy fare, on top of the ~$60 each way to upgrade to an exit row, or ~$90 each way to upgrade to Comfort+.

Delta-Basic-Economy-2

Man, they’re sneaky! I knew this was a thing, but when you actually go to book, you realize that you’re essentially paying a premium for the privilege of paying a further premium for a premium seat.

I suppose as an elite member this becomes a no brainer, since it’s worth paying an extra $40 to be eligible for an upgrade, confirmed premium seating, etc.

However, it’s yet another huge devaluation to elite benefits. American will soon be introducing Basic Economy on a widespread basis, so when you really think about it as an Executive Platinum:

Bottom line

Elite status with airline loyalty programs is really reaching the tipping point of not being worthwhile anymore. Sure, if you fly a certain amount anyway then you might as well go for it, but that’s also not really doing much to generate incremental revenue, but rather is giving away “free” rewards for behavior people would already exhibit.

With the price difference between economy and premium cabins on many flights lower than ever before, just paying for the product you want is looking more and more tempting.

To Delta flyers who have been dealing with Basic Economy fares for years, what’s your general approach? Do you always pay for the “standard” economy fare, or are there circumstances under which you only pay for Basic Economy?

Comments

  1. I still really enjoy my status on Alaska. As a 75K, I get upgraded to First Class on about 80% of my flights (even when using companion certificates). And while Alaska First may not be considered the “best” by some, if you ask a person that is usually flying coach, they will tell you it’s heaven. And the 125% mileage bonus and 50K annual bonus miles make it even more worth getting.

  2. it’s not so bad, I flew their basic econ dtw-las and got assigned two adjacent economy comfort seats because economy was full by then

  3. Longtime Delta flyer here and, nope… have never booked a basic eco flight… always pay for “standard”. It stinks, but it is all part of the ultimate calculus of defining my trip cost.

  4. Basic Economy will hurt business travelers who are mandated to select the cheapest fare. It effectively forces them into coach for business trips, which may make first-class seats available for frequent flyers traveling on leisure.

  5. I have never booked it, though thus far I also haven’t seen it come up on my searches that often. I did come close once, on a 1-hour flight on an ERJ135 where the penalty would have been very minimal, but I think I ended up not booking that trip at all IIRC. I can’t imagine booking it on a longer trip.

    I hadn’t really thought of it before but it’s fairly similar to some of the European legacies now charging advance seat assignment fees–with the extra twist that those carriers let elites get seat assignments for free still, but this scheme does not. Maybe at least it will make upgrades ever so slightly more available for those who are willing to pay the higher ticket price?

  6. I bought a Delta ticket yesterday in the “Main Cabin” category for an upcoming business trip. It worked out to be cheaper than all other carriers I searched on KAYAK, and I got seat selection on the aisle included. I think we have to compare apples to apples.

  7. @Ben

    From the resident Delta hater here (and with a million miles each on DL, AA, UA, plus 400K+ on Alaska-Horizon I think I can comment on the pros and cons of each by now)…. Welcome to the Sneaky World of Delta fare-seating-upsell chicanery!

    Yeah, even for the better seats DL will conceal the seat map for a non-elite at booking time. The net, then, Economy Minus is several steps down from that. No upgrades, no seat assignment. Worse, you’ll always get the Seat Assignment IOU thing, which complicates bag-checking, TSA Pre-Check access. And adds to anxiety on travel day. These are all reasons DL does it– to play with your head to get you to upgrade to a “real” fare class.

    The worst thing… And every non-DM should at least be aware of this– The last thing you want to have in your hand on a travel week like this one on DL is that DL puts YOU ON THE ABSOLUTE BOTTOM OF EVERY STANDBY LIST you will ever encounter with that Fare Class and Ticket Number. With high load factors and lots of displaced passengers from canceled/mis-connected flights, I’d bet there will be many, many E-Class Passengers who are stranded all week.

    IRROPS is miserable enough on DL…. It’s like Hades if you have an E-Fare ticket booked. You will never get to your destination on a week like this.

  8. American seriously has to ask itself – “what do I bring to the table?”

    1. Best mileage earning? Nope – not anymore.
    2. Best mileage redemption? Nope – not anymore.
    3. Best award availability? Haha – are you kidding?
    4. Best operations? Nope. Delta wins.
    5. Most customer friendly? Nope.
    6. Most on-time? Nope.
    7. Best at telling passengers when there is a delay? Nope – probably the worst of all airlines at this.

    I’m booking AA because they are generally the cheapest. Thanks AA, you’ve set us all free. Now we’ll just book the cheapest fares. Basic Economy – whatever. I’ll sit anywhere, buy my Gogo, get my work done, and enjoy putting my savings in the bank.

    AA chose the worst time to make all their changes – business travel is flattening, the global economy is trembling, and leisure travel from outside the US to the US is tanking. Nice work AA.

  9. Gonna be a straight shit show when AA copies the rest of how Delta has setup Basic Economy. Not going to be pretty.

  10. @AnonCHI: Agree with all your comments on why AA sucks. However, as a Delta hostage since I am based at MSP I only fly Delta if it is a business trip paid by my company or if flying non-stop with Delta makes a huge difference in terms of time savings. Delta is extremely greedy and I couldn’t care less for being loyal to them anymore. Here is a real example for my family of 4 flying MSP=GRU=MSP (including a stop in the US) flying on next Tksgiving: 1) Flying Delta connecting in either DTW or ATL was around $1400 per person. 2) Flying AA connecting at DFW was $550 per person. When you multiply that by 4 tickets it is a HUGE difference.That is becoming the norm with Delta where any non-stop from MSP to places like IND, OMA, RDU, JFK are usually close or over $1k. That is insane!!!!!

  11. After hearing about all the good stuff Delta has been doing recently, my partner and I decided to test them with a one-way first class ticket from Toronto to Austin (via MSP). My partner and I fly quite a bit and always pay full fare first class tickets so that we don’t ever have to risk poor seats, service or baggage handling issues.

    Arriving at Toronto, we were greeted with “carry your own luggage to the general luggage deposit area” service, no lounge or access to any partner lounge, and having to sit in a tiny waiting area that was being shared by two other flights. Plus the computer systems were down so they had to do manual passenger verifications and checks. The first leg was on a very old A319, it was dirty and extremely late to push off due to those computer system issues. The second leg was on a slightly newer plane, but the tray tables were broken in row 1 (they were taped down, so it was a known issue) and we were not offered any solution other than to sit there with the hot food tray vicariously balancing on our laps. Arriving in Austin, I was glad to see that my partners bags arrived quickly, but dreaded hearing my name called on the loudspeaker and then finding out that my bag would be arriving on a separate flight some hours later…long enough so that I would not be able to get it in time for my final flights (on United) home to Costa Rica in 4 hours time.

    I don’t understand why Delta decided to leave my bag behind, given that I paid full fare for my first class ticket. There were hundreds of economy passenger bags that were far larger than mine. I also don’t understand why Delta could not have had some temp tray table solution available for the broken tables in row 1. Finally, I don’t understand how the one of the 3 big US airlines in one of the 3 big alliances has no lounge access in the largest city and busiest airport in Canada.

    Needless to say, I will never fly Delta again.

  12. @Luke-
    No US carrier offers lounge access with a paid first class ticket domestically or transborder to Canada. Period. So dont expect it from anybody. Maybe Air Canada does, but no US carrier does. You have to be a member of the club if you want access.

  13. Bizarrely, on a recent JFK-LAS-ORD-JFK trip on AA as a BA OW Emerald member I was upgraded to F on all legs. This despite being booked in the cheapest Y bucket. I also have VS Gold and have never seen any noticeable benefits on DL. Will stick with AA for the foreseeable future.

  14. Basically I agree that the loyalty game is over. I enjoyed a few years of ExP on AA, and even Plat has its points, but the generous AAdvantage program was pretty much the only reason I stayed loyal. When the great wipe-out came this spring I checked out United on a challenge, and found that the mediocre airport experience cancelled out any marginal improvement in the flying conditions. Next week I fly Delta on a challenge, just to see for myself whether it’s qualitatively any better. I recognize the opportunity cost of doing two challenges in one membership year, but it seems worth at least testing other waters now that AA has ditched its only competitive advantage.

  15. @Luke-

    I flew first class on Delta from MSP to DTW once and my bags didn’t make it. The explanation I got at the time was that first class/sky priority bags on on the airplane last so that it can be the first one out to the baggage claim. So when they need to remove a few bags due to weight issues, first class bags are most likely to be pulled from the aircraft and not make it.

  16. I deliberately chose main cabin over basic economy while flying from CLE-LAS via MSP for my family just coz the idea of not ending up with good seats or seats next to each other didn’t go well with me. The flight I must admit was more comfortable as compared to United(which I took on my way back) or American, I believe it was a newly deisgned cabin with blue lights.
    But despite of making huge profits the American carriers continue to devaluate their loyalty programs and making elite status more and more redundant. Add to that mediocre hard product and pathetic customer service in most cases. And they wonder why gulf carriers are snatching their international business. I would prefer airlines like JetBlue over the big three any day if I have an option.

  17. @Santastico
    I bought one of these “Basic Economy” tickets for my flight this Friday from OMA-MSP because, like you said, prices are outrageous! I mean how can you charge $500+ on a 50 minute flight operate by an MD-90?!?

  18. @PassengerPoldberg: I fly MSP-OMA-MSP very often for business and it is not unusual to pay $1,200 on Delta.

  19. I had a SJC-LAS-SJC round trip using 5K Delta miles each way.
    I had another family member on the same resv. who has the Delta Platinum AMEX card.
    Both ways we were upgraded to Comfort+.
    No complaints!

  20. How much of Y cabin is sold as “basic economy?” If the intent of basic economy is to fill seats that would otherwise go unsold is it fair to say that the standard economy price is now “paying a premium” to use elite benefits? The $388 fare seems like a real bargain. Twenty years ago I was paying $500 for that route on Delta with no upgraded seats. While it’s abundantly obvious that the benefits of status have been severely degraded with the recent FF industry wide program changes, I’m not sure the introduction of basic economy is a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

  21. Booked once with DL’s basic economy flying BUF-LGA-BUF. It was about $40 cheaper than the standard upgrade-eligible fare and I didn’t really care to have seat assignment on this kinda short flight operated by regional jet, and I feel like the seat on those jets are equally uncomfortable anyways lol. But I’ve noticed that this fare are mostly ineligible to earn miles on any frequent flyer program other than DL itself. In my case, I couldn’t earn any CZ miles on those two flights…

  22. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. When being loyal delivers little or no benefit, I won’t be loyal.

    I recall accepting ridiculous routings to stay on the airline that I had status with. Things like OKC-ATL-LAS (DL) and CMH-PHX-DFW (HP), because the miles and segments contributed to my status and there was usually a good chance of sitting up front.

    Now, I choose the best compromise between time and price, and don’t really concern myself with the airline except to make sure that I’ve factored in the cost of add-ons (seat selection, baggage, etc), into my pricing scenario.

    Two years ago I wouldn’t have considered flying Frontier or Spirit. Now I know that if I choose Frontier, I can, for a couple hundred bucks more, get a bag, a carry on, a couple extra inches of leg room and a cocktail, both ways. Yeah, that sounds like a lot, but when you stack it on top of a $19 fare, it makes a $300 r/t base fare on UA seem ludicrously expensive, especially when you consider that UA fare is for a middle seat in the last boarding group, no bag, and no cocktail.

    Adios legacy carriers.*

    * Except when you’re price competitive on a city pair I need, but I’m not going out of my way for you.

  23. @Santastico – holy cow! I’ll stick to cheap flights on AA and not complain. My company and I should save cash. Who cares about miles earned by flying.

  24. @mallthus

    No argument there. Even with millions of miles on The Big Three, the airlines that I have the least beef with are Spirit and Allegiant. Have flown them both in the last year and they are everything you’d expect– which is ‘not much’. But at least your expectations are set correctly and you know what you will find: a long line, limited service, no frills. Bare bones. Don’t make eye contact with the guards.

    I still submit that the ‘only’ real argument left for ‘loyalty’ and ‘status’ in return from the majors is “what happens when things go really bad”. Fortunately, (to paraphrase General Turgidson) Delta has pretty much invalidated the ‘we never cancel flights’ policy this week. Right now, in airports all over the country, there is a face-off over “Delta’s standby priority lists”… DL has basically a quarter-million passengers they needed to find departures/seats to accommodate this week. And, the deciding factor as to who gets on and who has to sit In The Penalty Box for another 7 hours is “standby priority”.

    Again, the problem (and DL doesn’t exactly advertise this along with “no flight changes” and “no advance seat assignment” ) is that this Basic Economy Minus Fare (E) Class is on the absolute BOTTOM of the priority list. There are Non-Rev passengers who will bump you off the list. It is UGLY and it’s the awful downside to these new fare classes– you could sit for days waiting for space to open up. Especially with no status.

    So, as unrewarding as ‘loyalty’ seems to be, there is still a case to maintain some sort of elite status… if only as “insurance” against being perpetually bumped in a week like this on DL. And, there WILL be more weeks like this on some carrier.
    I honestly think there are people who tried to fly DL on Monday who won’t get to their destinations until next week at this rate…

  25. @Santasico: “That is becoming the norm with Delta where any non-stop from MSP to places like IND, OMA, RDU, JFK are usually close or over $1k. That is insane!!!!!”

    Yup, but your company is paying those non-stop fares, as are other companies. If the demand for nonstops weren’t there, the price would be lower.

    Yet another reason why the loyalty game is now a losing proposition: if you want to earn points and status by a combination of expensive fares purchased by your employer and cheap fares purchased for your private travel, you are out of luck because those cheap fares are nowhere near as common as they used to be. You can still find them, but most likely they won’t be on the carrier you are trying to be loyal to.

    So, since my loyalty is no longer valued (as shown by this and many other reasons), I am no longer loyal.

  26. Gosh, Gee willikers, Wow, Duh,
    Lucky, that sort of thing is what the rest of us deal with all the time. Unless you fly often from a major international airport and keep a close eye on every twisted, sub-texted little benefit that does or does not come down the pike, that is it. Pay extra, pay extra, pay extra…oh no you should have done that online, sorry.
    All we have left is a center seat in the 20.5 inch pitch section located behind screaming infants. But, you will have an opportunity to purchase still water during the flight.
    All this is to an endless chorus of meaningless “sorry.”
    Passengers/customers get screwed left, right and center. If no (other) corporation is forking out for first class airfare or sometimes if they are, the flyer is pretty regularly mistreated while we all fly to Atlanta to play mad scramble before we go through the same nonsense to get to Milwaukee.
    However, I have finally figured out how to deal with airlines in today’s market: stay home and buy airline stock. ONLY the shareholders benefit and not even they are well regarded on the flights.

  27. @Jason-
    Actually, United treats Canada transborder flights as international for lounge access.

  28. I hate to admit it but I am impossibly “average.” I knew I was a boring average height, weight, brown eyes, brown hair, middle -aged invisible person, but when DL started this game they absolutely confirmed it. The price to “upgrade ” to a regular E seat (or C+ or F) varies by flight, with distance being the primary variable. As a DL hub captive, I get to make these choices all the time, so now I make a game of it. I decide before I book what I’m willing to pay for whatever seat I want (the longer the flight, the more leg room I want). I swear to God DL is scanning my brain—these prices are right on the nose.
    Now, the elites hate people like me (right Rene?). I’m a lowly Silver, which in ATL is worth about a buck fifty, so I’m usually around 24th on the ole upgrade list. So I regularly pay Delta’s relatively (all other things considered) upgrade fees–to C+ or biz or F. For $48 or $220 or $360, I grab that seat that some poor DM was expecting for free. For DL, it’s ALL about maximizing profit. They have calculated that loyalty is not important, and that they can make their money by being the best and selling EVERYTHING (though bathroom use is, for now, still complimentary, even for E basic). The jury is still out on whether or not they have made a serious miscalculation.

  29. I fly Delta often as an SPG Platinum member. I’ve never booked basic economy and I never intend to. I’ve found the standard pricing to be competitive with the other airlines I fly standard pricing(JB and Alaska, mostly).

  30. We flew from EWR to CDG on Delta comfort plus (thank God it was a discounted award flight) last spring and it was one of the most horrible experiences I have ever had. Sure they offer you a drink – one. Maybe two. Whoopee. Their advertising makes it sound like an open bar is available. With so many cheap intercontinental fares now it is soooo tempting to snag one, and then I remember my comfort plus experience and snap out of it. Sardine cans are sardine cans. Unless you are in premium class (and their biz class didn’t look much better), flying is suffering unless you have narrow shoulders and are not over 5′ 4″. There is no loyalty, and for good reason. They treat you like crap. When I couldn’t stand being squashed any more and stood up in the cabin I was told to take my seat. US legacy carriers suck, plain & simple, and travel, which used to be fun, is now nearly unbearable.

  31. Lucky, you have confused two different things in this posting. How bad is Delta’s basic ticket (what most people are commenting on), & what will that mean to AA when AA adopts it.

    On the first question, DL does not car if you hate them, their planes are full. All the bridges to loyalty that Delta is burning will only be a problem the next time there is a downturn, and the current crop of executives plan to be long gone by then, living in Bermuda with their trophy wife. They don’t care if they ruin the airline’s loyalty, they only care that it doesn’t ruin things before they retire.

    As for AA, you listed a bunch of upcoming service reductions on AA. Pretty much all of them are better reasons to leave AA than these basic tickets. Stop crying about spending extra money to sit up front. You know the old saw: if you want to sit in the front of the plane, then pay to sit in the front of the plane.

  32. All of this is even more reason why we need the ME3 to run domestic routes here. Practically speaking, there is no competition here. The legacy carriers work together to keep prices ridiculously high. Why does it cost more to fly from FL to NY than JFK to DUB, LHR, CDG, NRT?

    As far as Basic Economy goes, my answer is “no.” I have no desire to deal with all of the limitations. I might pull it on a last-minute short-haul, but that’s it.

  33. I’ve been flirting with the idea of trying an E fare on a short haul route I take fairly regularly. There’s no difference in the offerings in C+ vs the rest of Y (one cup of water and one bag of pretzels), so what if I end up in a middle seat for an hour and save 10% on the flight cost? Hmmm.

    What irks me, though, is how E fares now show as the default most of the time in search engines and OTAs. That can be particularly annoying for redeeming certain currency (such as FlexPerks) as the only way to get flights in another class is to call (and pay a $25 fee).

  34. @Carl

    Bingo on the search engine thing. In fairness to DL, they like the traffic that the integrated travel search engines sent to Delta’s site. BUT, they have been very adamant that they don’t want ‘off site” price comparison… and have sued some of the price comparison sites over some legal theory that says the pricing info is “their content”. Makes no sense, but there was a period after the E-Fare Class was introduced where the search spiders (Hipmunk used to do this) would always latch onto the ‘E’ fare listing and send you straight to the purchase landing page for “E” on your desired flights.

    I got burned on that a few times– where I wasn’t even aware I’d bought a “Scum Class” ticket. All I knew was that they had a lower fare for the trip than AA or UA so I bought. When you go to check in is when it dawned on me… no seat selections, no boarding pass, major pain to check a bag, TSA Pre-Check is “Unavailable”. And, when things go bad, it’s obvious you are the bottom of the priority chain under IRROPS. A couple of times it was so bad that I went to Virgin or Alaska to buy a walk-up ticket, since it was clear DL couldn’t get me a seat for days. There must be thousands of E-Fare passengers this week on “perma standby”….

  35. This 100K+ miles per year, lowest-Y, business traveler doesn’t fear these basic economy fares at all. The fact that they don’t allow ticket changes of any type means they are completely out of line with my corporate travel policy. Won’t be buying them, ever. In fact, they are a good thing, because they might mean less fliers are in the early boarding groups, competing for premium seats, in the lounges, etc.

    Similarly American’s introductions of international Premium Economy is great, because out travel policy will allow it for longer trips, but never permits purchased J. The sky is not falling.

  36. I don’t get the point in this discussion. They offer four different fares. They are completely transparent on what each fare includes and not. You pick the fare that is right for your needs and budget. Where is the problem?

  37. Call me crazy, but i actually ENJOY my delta flights. I flew ATL-DTW in first class and it was actually a fun flight (mainly because of the good seat, hilarious seatmate and brilliant FAs). I would take delta over BA anyday, even if i have a lousy crew.

  38. What scares me are company policies that require booking the “lowest available fare”. A lot of road warriors will get forced into this fare.

  39. @Chloe

    We are all fine with the First Class Service on DL.

    This post is about what happens ‘behind the curtain’ with us great, unwashed masses back in Economy Minus.

  40. “you’re essentially paying a premium for the privilege of paying a further premium for a premium seat.”

    That’s the wrong way to look at it. You’re getting a significant discount for declining certain benefits. There’s no devaluation because you can still buy the normal main cabin fare that you’re used to buying.

  41. As a Delta brand loyalist and a “lowly” Silver Medallion, I find that the inability to pre-select seats at a minimum is a slap in the face to their most loyal customers, even with the basic economy fare.

    I choose Delta whenever possible, and recently my corporate travel team booked me in a basic economy fare. I was shocked when Delta.com restricted me from choosing my seat. Luckily, I reached out to the @Delta team via Twitter (they have always, without fail, done anything and everything to take care of me). They booked me in aisle seats for the entire itinerary, but I still don’t have the ability to change those seats until check-in.

    I wrote an email to Sandeep Dube, Delta’s VP of Customer Engagement & Loyalty, but not surprise that I have not received a response. If any other medallions are as angry as I am you can reach him at sandeep.dube@delta.com.

  42. First and foremost, a big thank you for Ben to starting this thread. I just had my first experience with this BS ‘Basic Economy Shady Strategy’.

    Tomorrow, I am flying from DTW to SFO and I just checked in. Well kind of – Wasn’t able to select my seat, had to call and they assigned a middle sit and ‘moved me to the back of the bus’. Why? Because I was smart enough to book my business flight months in advance and take advantage of the low fare. I am not going to start a debate on ‘status’ – e.g., Basic Econ policy should not apply to platinum holders – not a good angle to take – definitely grounds for a lawsuit.

    My problem is that Delta has now decided to ‘Be Everything to Everyone’. DELTA!!!, you are already doing great, your service is impeccable, but did you really think about this before rolling it out? Did you see it from your loyal customers “Lens”? E.g., what others have noted about business travelers.

    Because if you truly have seen it from your customers “Lens”, then you would’ve not introduced the ‘Basic Econ Shady Strategy’.

  43. WOW … I just barely avoided the trap of the E-fare-class. Never expected to find one on a TATL itinerary SEA-AMS. As a Diamond Elite I fly mostly DL and solely international and was aware from other blogs of this fare class being available on domestic flights.
    So glad I took the time to explore the “low” fare that was offered on their website and noticed the “E” booking class !!!

  44. @Fabienne

    I assumed they only offered ‘E’ on domestic routes, but for a non-Medallion that we
    be brutal over the water.

    DL must think they’ll race to the bottom against Wow and Norwegian.

    As a Diamond, they’d probably take care of you, but I’d never want to be on
    that fare with low/no status.

  45. Hi! I could use dome advice. I have 100K skymiles for Delta. I want to use either miles or miles plus cash for a rt trip to London or Tokyo. I live in Florida but can fly out of ATL or LAX.

    My question is how can I get a seat assignment Before the check in time? I see where Delta doesnt show a seat map when you book miles or miles plus cash.

    I don’t want to fly for 9 + hrs in a middle seat.

    Any advice would be great! Thank you!

  46. You absolutely can choose seats when booking miles or miles plus cash tickets UNLESS you are booking a basic economy fare. That fare does not allow seat selection prior to day of travel.

  47. @Jay

    Uh no. If you aren’t familiar, for non-elites Delta conceals the seat map once load exceeds 50% on many routes.

    Another delta policy that makes them such a treat to deal with.

  48. @Jay

    Uh no. If you aren’t familiar, for non-elites Delta conceals the seat map once load exceeds 50% on many routes.

    Another delta policy that makes them such a treat to deal with.

  49. Yes. I just noticed that. No map on delta comfort. I am only Delta Basic, no silver or anything. Is there any other way around getting a seat assignment before check in? Thank you!

  50. I am so irritated about no seat assignment until check in. I have written Delta two letters and when I return from my trip I intend to send one to the top guy. This is SO elitist . I have been a loyal Delta flyer forever – often paying more because I have liked them. But, I truly intend to give in and fly other carriers that I don’t like as well and start driving more. It’s all a thing of principle. We are retired now and hope to travel TOGETHER – and I buy my seats early to do that, but we NEED to save $$, too. Their new slogans…’Try to save money – no seat honey’…’ We’re elite – you get no seat’…or many more are maddening. I suggest that EVERYONE write them and let them know we HATE it!! And, if you’re as mad as I am, sometimes anyway, don’t give them your business and let them know. It might do some good….or not.

  51. I just flew Delta Basic economy roundtrip from LAX to Denver, receiving my seat assignment upon checkin. The way to Denver, I was seated in the back row, as expected. On the way back to LA, however, I was actually seated in the Delta+ Comfort seats, even though that is supposedly against policy. Not sure how I got so lucky, but if I’m traveling alone, I certainly won’t hesitate to use this option again.

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